HANOI, May 20 All eyes will be on whether the national contingent can hit the 36 gold medal target as the 31st South East Asian (SEA) Games enters its 13th day here today.

After enjoying an amazing haul of seven gold medals today, Malaysia are just shy of two more gold to achieve the target, having amassed a total of 34 gold, 38 silver and 73 bronze to remain sixth in overall medal standings.

It is hoped that the excellent performance in karate and shooting can be maintained, in addition to some possible gold medal surprises as our national athletes compete in the finals of several events today.

Yesterday, however, the gymnastics and archery teams shone bright as they contributed two golds each.

The national rhythmic gymnastics team, lived up to its reputation as a regional giant as the team swept up both gold medals in the all-around team event and the all-around individual event courtesy of Koi Sie Yan.

Meanwhile the archery team was on the mark today when the combination of Mohd Juwaidi Mazuki-Fatin Nurfatehah Mat Salleh dominated the mixed compound team finals.

Right after winning the gold, Olympian Mohd Juwaidi then won his second gold in the men’s individual compound event.

At the shooting range, Johnathan Wong put to rest the ghosts of 2019 when he won the gold in the men’s 10 metre (m) air pistol event, while national karate champion R Sharmendran won the gold in the men’s under 75 kilogramme (kg) kumite event, and taekwondo exponent Muhammad Syafiq Zuber won the welterweight (80kg) kyorugi event.

At the end of the 12th day of competition, hosts Vietnam remain at the top of the charts with 153 gold, 89 silver and 84 bronze, followed by Thailand 62-68-96, Singapore 44-43-55, Indonesia 42-61-56 and the Philippines in fifth with 40-57-79.

Meanwhile, the national Under-23 football team’s goal to bring home the mother of all medals at this year’s SEA Games failed when they crashed out of the semi-finals with a 0-1 loss to defending champions Vietnam last night.

The loss means that the 11-year-old wait for the SEA Games football gold medal will be extended for yet another two years. Bernama